Hackney council has voted to restrict excessive refuse, late-night noise and anti-social behaviour in Dalston by making it a Special Policy Area (SPA).
Under the new policy, that was voted in on January 29, new pubs, restaurants and off licenses will have to close at 11 pm during weeknights and 12 at weekends, whilst certain qualifying clubs, theatres and cinemas will be permitted to shut at 12 throughout the week. It will also discourage new clubs from applying for licenses.
Businesses applying to stay open later than the new guidelines set out, in the Kingsland High Street, Stoke Newington Road and the area around Middleton Road to Evering Road, will have to prove to the licensing committee that they will not have a negative impact on the area.
The policy was voted in on January 29, 2014, after residents expressed their concerns that the late night footfall was causing noise, litter and anti-social behaviour.
A six-month study of the 2,856 residents and local business owners found that almost 75 per cent complained of problems with litter and waste, 61 per cent were concerned by anti-social behaviour and 34 per cent complained about noise.
However, 84 per cent of those surveyed were against Dalston becoming an SPA.
Nonetheless, Hackney Council voted through the measure, saying the study served only as an indicator for the decision-making process.
Councillor Emma Plouviez, chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Dalston is great for the local economy, but it’s also becoming increasingly apparent that we have to manage growth if we are to ensure that litter and anti-social behaviour do not get worse – it is already affecting the quality of life for residents who live nearby.
Plouviez continued: “The SPA aims to strike a balance, by attracting the right type of responsible licensees to complement existing measures to reduce litter and antisocial behaviour.”
Stathis Tsitinis, a supervisor at Ivy’s Bar, on Kingsland High Street said: “I don’t agree with the decision. Dalston became what it is because of its current culture. Now [the Council] want to make it a residential area of new builds with higher rents.”
“The bars, restaurants and clubs have thousands of people coming to the area,” Tsinitis continued. “It’s an opportunity to literally taste the diversity of so many cultures in one area.”
Rhoda Linklater, home-owner and mother of two from Dalston Square said:
“Since I moved to Dalston five years ago it’s changed a lot. Dalston has become a place just for nightlife and people who come here don’t treat the area very well. City types are moving in temporarily and this will continue to push prices up and people will continue to open bars.”
Rhonda Dewsnap, a retired nurse, living in council accommodation on Princess May Road said that she was not affected by the noise on the main roads, but that was mainly because of her road’s resident permit parking policy, which prevents bar-goers stopping there.